Have you ever been out in public, at a restaurant or shopping mall, and suddenly you are hit with a fragrance that sends you back to your childhood? There are some smells that are just plain nurturing.
I remember being a child, probably around eight years old, sitting on a pew in church next to my mother. I would lean my head over to rest it on her bare shoulder. I would encounter the smell of my mother.
I’m not sure what scent she was wearing or whether she had on any perfume at all, however, I do remember the sensation that would come over me as my cheek touched her skin. There was a feeling of comfort and safety as I leaned against my mother.
It’s funny how nurturing some senses can be.
I also remember a dress that she wore in my mind’s eye. It was a summer dress, sleeveless, cotton. It’s the print that I remember best. It was mostly white with tiny butterflies places randomly throughout the fabric. I’m not sure whether she made the dress herself or not, but there was that sense of comfort once again when I saw my mom wearing that dress.
I mention Mary on this blog quite a bit these days and I get this feeling with her too. She has a lovely scent that she wears and every time she gives me a hug I get that nurturing sense of love. She has this way about her, the way she wraps you in her arms. You surely know you’ve been hugged once you’ve encountered Mary. It’s one of the things I love about her. It’s one of the things we all love about her, that warm and welcoming embrace.
I am tempted to ask her what fragrance she wears. I wonder if I would feel that same sense of comfort if I wore the scent myself? It is important to be able to love yourself, to comfort yourself. That is called self-care. Any time we can comfort and love ourselves, well, that is a good thing.
It’s true that we need each other. It’s important to have your tribe, that group of people who are there for you when you need them. But it’s also good to know that we have the ability to love and comfort ourselves when the need arises.
It’s also true that I can’t love others unless I first love myself.